By TODD WESSELL
Journal & Topics Editor
Later this year when work on Rosemont’s skybridge system is completed, visitors to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center will see a “fresh, modern” look to the overhead, climate-controlled walkway used by hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Rosemont Village Board members last Wednesday approved spending $734,480 to renovate the skybridge that links two village-owned parking garages with the Stephens Center and the Hy-att Regency Hotel.
According to convention center Executive Director Chris Stephens, lighting work on the project will begin in eight to 10 weeks. Improvements include new flooring, woodwork, framing and painting. In addition, some of the skybridge’s win-dows will be treated with special film that blocks views of rooftop heating and air conditioning units. There will also be artwork---perhaps of a historical na-ture---added to some of the skybridge’s interior walls.
“It’s time,” said Stephens on Monday. “We’ve had the same design for about the last 20 years.” He added that materials for the work are in the process of being ordered and the work will be done in stages so not to interrupt shows and conventions at the giant facility.
The skybridge work will extend from the East Garage, which is currently undergo-ing major improvements, through the convention cen-ter, over River Road to the Williams Street parking gar-age just west of the village’s entertainment district.
“Each company that’s working on the project will be paid directly by the vil-lage,” said Stephens. “It will give people a more pleasant experience when entering the building.”
Stephens said no comple-tion date has yet been set.